Basement Inspiration

We are slowly running out of rooms in our house to start a new project on (we have plenty to still complete since I am the queen of 90% but that is another story).

The basement is part of the final frontier and Derek thinks that since it is "man land" that he gets to make all design and purchasing decisions. Our basement is finished thankfully but right now it is pretty boring with tan walls and old carpet. We only use it currently for the exercise room and as overflow for the guest bedroom. It is one of the few rooms that does not have honey oak trim and I believe Derek is thinking about painting all of it black. Glad he is going to learn how to paint trim because I am pretty sick of it.

Anyway, our basement has two tiny windows so it does not get much light and I want to be able to use the space as a kid area when we have children. So designing this space (on a small budget of course) is going to be tricky.

For a little inspiration I turned to my all time favorite designer-Candice Olsen. I love everything she does and one of the things she does best is basements in my opinion. So here is what I love in case Derek happens to read this when he is thinking about what he wants to do down there:).

Nothing like purple couches to say "man land"


(all photos courtesy of HGTV)

Two Pieces of Paradise

I am not usually a big houseplant person but ever since I saw this picture years ago I have been in love with those plants. Of course now years later I have no idea where/who this picture is from...I believe it was someone on the Nest if I had to guess. I also saw a similar picture (same room, different angle) on one of the blogs I read regularly a couple of weeks ago. But now as I am writing this post I cannot find that post anywhere. I know, my Internet research skills suck.

But anyway, I started to hunt for this plant last winter for the kitchen. Of course I had no idea what the name of it was. I went to a nursery and all their indoor plants were way more than I was willing to pay for a single plant. Nothing at Home Depot either. But then I found one at Lowe's for under $20 and this baby has been growing beautifully in my kitchen for the last couple of months. (It is called a Bird of Paradise in case you were curious).

So when our master bedroom was needing something with height, presence and you know earthiness I went out and bought a bird of paradise mini-me. (This time only $8.50 whoo hoo)
The Houseplant family

Here it is all ready to grow in its new big pot.....

I think some more miracle-gro is in order to achieve that height and presence thing....


All the pots for the plants are Homegoods scores. I could never bring myself to drop a hundred bucks on a ceramic pot but I found the big pots at my favorite store for 39.99 and the smaller one for under twenty. They are glazed ceramic and weigh a ton (which is why we put the wheely thing on the one on the carpet) so if you are on the hunt for nice large pots check it out.

Some Inspiration...

I have been so busy actually working in the laundry room that I have not had much time to post about it (or anything else). Right now it is a total disaster and all the trim still needs another coat of paint so an after pic is still a little way off. In the meantime I wanted to share some pics I gathered to give me ideas. I was actually surprised how few laundry inspiration pictures I had saved (since I have a slight addiction to saving inspiration pictures) and even more surprised how few pictures were out there when I looked for more. I guess it is not a very glamorous room so not very many people post pictures. Here are some of the ones I stumbled on that helped me design our new remodeled laundry room-

from DecorPad courtesy of Design Inc.

Love the modern feel and the back splash. Also I am very jealous of the sink.


This room is not really my design style but I love the laundry basket storage....each person gets a basket and you can sort it as you fold. My mother had this system while we were growing up and it worked really well...especially if you were a teenager and just wanted to keep all your clothes in your basket so you did not have to put them away in the drawer

flickr find- saucy dragonfly's laundry room

Love everything about this room- the color, the space, the organization, the counter above the front loader...


From HGTV's Rate My Space Nashville 123 here

And those glass tiles and pendant light......


From HGTV's Dream Home 2009

I know that this is not a laundry room (duh), but this was my inspiration for the color scheme. Since our new laundry appliances are white and we already have a white counter in there, we went with the "white and one bright color scheme". Its a technical design term. I got vetoed on this green but I love how the white pops against the bright color.

I Love These Chairs!

I love the designer Angelo Surmelis on HGTV's Rate My Space. He does great designs and on top of that he seems line a genuinely great guy. His show is on my DVR list. Also, his blog is one of the ones on my Google Reader and last night he posted about his new furniture line here. I love it! The pieces are so stylish but affordable. Here is one of my favorites:
from Design Geek Blog-lots more pics on his post

According to the post they will be available this summer on Overstock. I really wish that these would have been an option when we were looking for a piece for out master bedroom. I wanted something with a pattern but everything we saw was either an ugly pattern or too expensive. I love this entire line and really appreciate his commitment to making them inexpensive. He is very talented and I hope that his new line will be very successful. Go check it out over on Design Geek!

I Dare You....

Lately I have thinking a lot about paint. Specifically if I have the guts to something dramatic in our master bath.....like black. I found this picture a long time ago and I think it looks so glamorous and dramatic. (Of course I have no idea where i saved it from so if you happen to know please drop me a line so I can add credit) I broached the possibility to Derek a couple of days ago and his while his first reaction was that I was crazy....after seeing some inspiration pictures he was a little more in the "let's think about it" camp. Here are some more inspiration pics:

Then it was like Apartment Therapy was reading my mind since they put up a post about it here with some more pics.

Also the Sherwin Williams article they linked had a lot of ideas of how to be successful with black (this was forwarded as an email to Derek...hint hint....I am not giving up on this).

Going black takes guts and I am not sure I can do it. But I think I made a baby step in our kitchen. I still remember my conversation with the ACE hardware paint guy (PG) when I bought the paint for our kitchen cabinets. I was there at noon on a Tuesday, but no matter what time I came in to buy paint, they had the same person in the department. So we became friends even though he thought I was out of my mind..

J: Could I get 3 gallons of the Cabinet and Trim Paint in Cannonball please?
PG: What color?
J: Cannonball
PG: You know that is black right?
J: Yes
PG: What in the heck are you painting?
J: Cabinets
PG: In the kitchen?
J: Yep
PG: Black?
J: Yes
PG: Have you painted before?
J: Yes this will be my seventh gallon on this type of paint...but the others were white...we are changing it up
PG: Well OK......not even sure how to mix it....hold on
A couple of minutes later
PG: Bring a picture in of how it turns out when you are finished....I am curious....never heard of such a thing

We loved how the cabinets turned out in black but I did chicken out when it came to painting the window trim black also in the kitchen. We went with boring old white which I now regret but I am going to have to really really regret it if I am going to repaint seven windows.


I am thinking that black could work in the master bathroom because of the incredible amount of light we have in there between the window and the skylight. (I would show pics but considering you saw my awful craft room yesterday I don't want to scare you with more ugly rooms.) When we remodel it, the shower is going to expand to a two person walk in with white subway tile so there will not be really much wall space to be black..... so hopefully it won't be overpowering. Also I love the idea of going with a glossy finish to make it more interesting. However, that means I better start working on my drywalling skills now if we are even considering a glossy finish. But I think black paint is something that is going to take a lot of thought and some paint samples on the wall. I can only imagine the reaction when I try to get two gallons in high gloss from Sherwin Williams......

Do you think you could do it? Do you even want to? Am I crazy to be even comtemplating this?

Craft Room Dilemma

My craft room needs an intervention.......

I am almost embarrassed to post pictures of it in it's current state but one thing I have learned about having a blog is that it is motivation to complete projects so I actually have something to post about. So I probably should have named this post "Jenny's Motivation to Get Off Her Butt."

Here is the craft room in the current state. It used to be a little girl's bedroom obviously. It did have wallpaper on the top half of the room and I wrongfully assumed that if I took it down I would just have normal pink walls. However, they did not paint all the way to the top so now it looks even worse. Since it looked crappy I got lazy and did not take the rest of the wallpaper off behind furniture. The furniture is my now-teenaged cousin's old furniture that I am hoping to refinish this summer for our future nursery. But we will see since Derek doesn't like to talk about anything involving the "B" word. Also, it is currently home to some of my seedlings until I can get them planted outside. Obviously my current organization system needs some help. This is the room that when we moved if we did not know where to put it, it went into the "pink room."



So the first dilemma is paint color. This is the only room in the house that I have free reign over the decision without needing to get input from Derek. Also this is not a public room so I can do something a little different. But on the other hand this room is visible from the front door.

Idea 1: Until 2 days ago this was the only idea. I am thinking doing a neutral paint palette in horizontal stripes somewhat like the master bedroom at our old house.

or like this
This is an image I saved forever ago and have no idea where it came from even after tons of searching....let me know if you do so I can give them credit

Or maybe this:Image from Apartment Therapy

or switching it away from stripes:

Image from This Old House

I like this because it is a little something different without being overpowering. But at the same time- this is the room where I can get away with something bold and I am still doing neutrals? What has happened to me? How can I be creative in a space that isn't even me?

Those cons started to take over after I received this (like I explained here)

So Idea 2-

I have a new favorite color:
Jack Horner's Plum- Pratt and Lambert

Here it is in a dining room.
Image from House Beautiful

It is bold and girly but still muted so that it is not neon pink. Also painting a room a solid color is so much easier than doing stripes. Or do I do stripes and this color? Or do stripes with this being an accent color? Or do another bold color? Or......

So many decisions and I haven't even gotten to the furniture/organization part yet. I guess I will need a another post....maybe then I will have the paint color figured out at least....